A two-storey building under construction at works layout in Owerri, Imo State capital has collapsed, killing one person.
Eye witness account said that the owner of the building on hearing about the incident rushed to the site, locked up the gates to the compound where the building situates and absconded.
According to sources, the incident happened at about 11:00pm, Monday night, November 26.
A combined team of Imo Rescue Operation comprising the Road Safety personnel, Civil Defence, ambulance services, the army, police and other security operatives were seen trying to rescue those trapped while the corpse of the dead man was recovered and taken to the mortuary.
The name of the dead man who was said to be a carpenter with the construction company handling the building was given as Joseph Ekanem.
Speaking with journalists at the scene, Imo State Commissioner for land, Survey and urban Planning, Mr. Uche Nwosu described it as unfortunate.
Mr. Nwosu said it was unprofessional that the landlord of the building who had abandoned construction of the building for over a decade ago did not assess the strength of the materials, especially, the iron rods before putting another structure atop.
He revealed that it was only at about 8.00am Tuesday morning, Nov. 27, that his office was informed of the collapsed building, confirming that the landlord actually locked up the place and absconded without informing the appropriate authorities.
Nwosu therefore warned that henceforth, the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCFA) would be very hard on owners of buildings, stressing that any building that has a crack would be pulled down.
Also confirming the incident, the executive secretary of the state emergency maintenance Agency (SEMA) Mrs. Uche Ezeonyeasi said the owners of the building could not be reached because he reportedly hurried out of the vicinity after locking the gates and ran away.
the victim being stretched out of the scene